Enjoy beautiful beaches, oceanfront towns and old growth forest as you walk from Fort Stevens State Park to Manzanita.
This trip is along the Northern segment of the Oregon Coast Trail, from Fort Stevens State Park to Manzanita. I like this segment because about half of the walking is in forests. The Oregon Coast is very beautiful, but walking for days on a beach is a bit dull for me. This route takes you through Ecola State Park and Oswald West State Park, both of which include old growth forests. The first 15 miles are a fairly dull section of beach. There is a row of dunes on your left and the ocean on your right and the scenery doesn’t change from mile to mile. After that, though, you will walk along some of the most beautiful beaches and forests of the Oregon coast.
View Oregon Coast Trail - North Inn to Inn in a larger map
There is a new set of maps of the entire Oregon Coast Trail available online from Oregon Parks & Recreation Maps.
Day 1: Fort Steven to Seaside, 17 miles.
Get ride to Fort Stevens State Park. Follow signs for overnight camping, first entrance on Hwy 101. Drop off at Wreck of the Peter Iredale beach access, about 4 miles south of South Jetty. Walk the beach South then just before the river cut up through the dunes to Gearhart. Cross over the Highway 101 bridge and into Seaside. Stop for food then walk to the South end of Seaside to Lanai at the Cove, $70-$110/night (kitchenette and no breakfast). This is just one mile from the Ecola State Park North entrance. Ask for a no-pet room on second floor with ocean view (room 37 was nice).
Cape Falcon in Oswald West State Park
Day 2: Seaside to Arch Cape,18 miles.
Walk through Ecola State Park and Cannon Beach to Arch Cape. Bring food for dinner from Cannon Beach. You must check the tide tables for this walk. You will need a low tide in the afternoon to avoid highway walking, so plan your trip when this is possible. Stay at Arch Cape Inn ($189 - $199/night) or Ocean Point Inn ($190/night by beach but I have not stayed there) both serve breakfast. Arch Cape Deli closes at 4pm on Sundays and 5pm other days. Arch Cape Inn serves breakfast at 9am but will serve earlier on request. They serve dinners on Friday and Saturday.
The trail through Oswald West walks you right through a tree
Day 3: Arch Cape to Manzanita, 17 miles.
Walk through Oswald West State Park, up Neahkanie Mtn and down the other side to Manzanita. Get picked up in Manzanita around 4pm.
If you want to use public transportation, it will be challenging. There does not appear to be a bus from Portland to Astoria.
It takes all day to go from Manzanita to Portland via bus. Leave Manzanita 11:15am, arrive Sunset Transit Beaverton 2:10pm, MAX downtown.
Another option: drive to Cannon Beach, leave car and take 9:33am bus to Manzanita, walk 3 days to Ft Stevens. On last day, go to Hwy 101 and catch the 4:24pm #101 bus to Seaside then transfer to 5:23pm #20 to Cannon beach, arriving 6:03pm, then drive home. Still done in 3 days.
- Oregon Parks & Recreation Maps.
- Description of OCT segment by segment
- Tillamook Transportation - Bus from Manzanita to Cannon Beach
- Sunset Empire Transportation - Bus from Seaside to Astoria, get off on Hwy 101
- Northern Lights Town Car - Shuttle Service
- Regal Coach Taxi in Astoria for trip to South Jetty (about $30).
- There is also an Oregon Coast Trail Yahoo Group you can subscribe to.